What does a production coordinator do?
Production coordinators do all the admin that is crucial to the smooth working of a production, from beginning to end.
During filming, they book and organise travel and accommodation, ensure locations and people are booked and available and the team has all the paperwork it needs. This can include release forms for contributors to sign to show they have consented to filming, copyright and health and safety documents. They create a call sheet which details who will be on location, where they need to be, how they get there and all contact numbers that may be required. They also include a breakdown of the filming day, listing what should be rehearsed and shot by what time.
Production coordinators organise work permits and visas, book crews, order filming equipment and props and are responsible for organising, assigning and reconciling floats (cash that may be required while on location). They check invoices and ensure all production paperwork is filed, protected, up to date and in order. Once a show is in an edit, they ensure the team has all the information it needs, including tape logs, and help source and clear archive material and music. They are responsible for the completion of the post-production and final delivery information to the broadcaster.
Production coordinators tend to work throughout the full cycle of an unscripted TV programme, from start to finish. They mainly work in the production office and there is often more than one on a production. On bigger productions, they also go out on location to support the production team and crew, and on some studio shows may work as a script supervisor.
They might work full-time for broadcasters or for TV production companies but are often on a fixed-term contract.
What's a production coordiantor good at?
- Organisation: be efficient at planning, booking and scheduling, preparing documents and filing, tackle issues before they become problems
- Communication: work as part of a team, ensure everyone has the information they need and know which paperwork needs completing
- Finance: monitor and report costs and spending within assigned budget areas to ensure the production manager can forecast and manage the overall budgets
- Knowledge of IT and technology: be able to use, pick up and adapt to new systems and software easily, know the different equipment used for filming and editing
- Knowledge of law: understand health and safety rulings, data protection legislation and compliance, clearance and copyright requirements